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Prep football: Turning point?

Five Santa Clarita Valley teams enter Week 3 at 1-2 or worse

Posted: September 14, 2012 2:00 a.m.
Updated: September 14, 2012 2:00 a.m.
Valencia’s Jordan Nguyen (54) sacks Palmdale quarterback Jake Dashnaw on Aug. 31 at Valencia High. The Vikings lost the game 35-21 and are 0-2 thus far this season. Valencia hosts Righetti tonight. Valencia’s Jordan Nguyen (54) sacks Palmdale quarterback Jake Dashnaw on Aug. 31 at Valencia High. The Vikings lost the game 35-21 and are 0-2 thus far this season. Valencia hosts Righetti tonight.
Valencia’s Jordan Nguyen (54) sacks Palmdale quarterback Jake Dashnaw on Aug. 31 at Valencia High. The Vikings lost the game 35-21 and are 0-2 thus far this season. Valencia hosts Righetti tonight.

If a team is a reflection of its coach, then Valencia football is pretty disappointed with its 0-2 start.

It’s the second straight season the Vikings have started the season 0-2 and if this year is like last, despite the disappointment, there is hope.

The Vikings finished the 2011 season 6-2 and won the Foothill League title for the third straight season.

“Last year we started 0-2 and that was kind of the turnaround. This year I feel the same way,” said Valencia senior defensive tackle Grayson Largman. “We’ve had a great week this week. I think this is the start of a turnaround for us.”

The Vikings have the Santa Clarita Valley’s premier game this week when they host Northern Division No. 10 Righetti at 7 p.m.

Righetti, another team that hasn’t gotten off to the start it hoped for at 1-2, presents a challenge for a Vikings’ defense that has struggled at times.

The Warriors’ top three rushers accounted for 250 yards on the ground in last Friday’s 29-22 loss to St. Francis, including 126 yards from running back Collin Cooper.

On the other hand, Valencia’s running game hasn’t gotten off the ground yet.

The No. 9 Vikings have just seven rushing yards in two games.

“We’re not hitting the panic button, but at the same time there’s a sense of urgency that we need to fix some things because there are some glaring things we need to fix,” said Valencia head coach Larry Muir.

A win against Righetti will go a long way in proving that the Vikings are still in the top of the Northern Division’s class.

Canyon (3-0) at Quartz Hill (0-2) 7 p.m.

The good news — the Cowboys are averaging nearly 54 points per game.

The bad news, they’re giving up nearly 30.

The bad news won’t matter against a Quartz Hill team that has scored just 24 points thus far.

With Canyon, the talk is records.

Freshman quarterback Cade Apsay passed for a school record 405 yards in last Friday’s 56-27 win over Knight.

And we’re getting close to putting the countdown on for Canyon wide receiver Drew Wolitarsky, who is 55 receptions and 267 yards shy of tying Steve Smith’s state records.

Hart (1-1) at Ridgeview of Bakersfield (2-1) 7 p.m.

No team in the Santa Clarita Valley has logged more miles than the Indians thus far.

With today’s trip to Bakersfield, the Indians will now be at 428 miles in three road games thus far.

Hart head coach Mike Herrington said if there’s one thing his team gained from last Thursday’s 51-3 beating of Orange County’s Kennedy High, it was camaraderie.

Here’s more for the Indians.

Ridgeview is a running machine, having rushed for 779 yards in three games.

The team’s leading rusher is quarterback Kamari Cotton-Moya at 360 yards.

Turnovers are a problem, though, as the Wolf Pack have turned the ball over 10 times.

Saugus (1-2) vs. Ventura (2-1), 7:30 p.m. at College of the Canyons

Things went from bad to worse for the Centurions.

After two close games, the Centurions lost 33-13 last week to Buena.

Ventura is on the verge of being ranked in the Western Division top 10 and has outscored its last two opponents 74-20.

According to, they have 578 rushing yards and are led by junior running back Chris Martinez, who has 231 of them.

West Ranch (1-2) at Thousand Oaks (2-1),

7 p.m.

It’s been three years since a Santa Clarita Valley team has played Thousand Oaks, but between 2006 and 2009, the Lancers played Foothill League teams to a 3-5 record.

Northern Division semifinalists a year ago, Thousand Oaks is off to a 2-1 start.

Included in that was a 20-17 win against a good Newbury Park team on Aug. 31.

Quarterback Clark Abourisk has been the Lancers’ engine, passing for 819 yards and seven touchdowns.

The 1-2 Wildcats have their work cut out for them.

Golden Valley (0-2) at Agoura (1-2), 7 p.m.

The Grizzlies face a Charger team that has been outscored 80-9 in its last two games.

Golden Valley could struggle to find wins this season, so this game is a must to take advantage of.  

Agoura is not running the ball well and has thrown four interceptions thus far.

The Grizzlies went in two directions with their quarterbacks in last Friday’s 28-14 loss to Highland, the second game in a row in which they led in the fourth quarter.

Chase Lewis and Robert Phillips tried to find the right formula.

Could it come this week?

“There is no such thing as a guaranteed win,” said Golden Valley head coach Robert Fisher. “By all means, we haven’t taken this team lightly. If anything, I think we’ve pushed harder than we’ve ever pushed before and treated this like it’s the best opponent we’re ever going to face.”

Private Schools

Santa Clarita Christian (1-2) vs. Vasquez (0-3), 7 p.m. at Canyon High

Last week, the Cardinals picked up a forfeit win, as Villanova Prep couldn’t show up for the scheduled game.

It’s been 13 days since SCCS last had a game and thus far, it has been outscored 62-19.

Vasquez is 0-3, but two of those games it lost by six points.

Trinity (2-0) at Desert Christian Academy (2-0), 7 p.m.

After beating its first two opponents by a combined score of 110-14, Trinity steps up the competition and travels to Bermuda Dunes to play 8-Man Division I’s No. 2 team.

Trinity is Division II’s No. 3 team.



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